Manila September 12 CGTN news — China and the Philippines should strengthen communication and coordination to properly manage differences on the South China Sea issue, said Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on Friday.
Wei made the remarks when he met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila.
During their meeting, President Duterte expressed gratitude to the Chinese government and military for assistance on the fight against COVID-19.
The Chinese delegation is the first foreign high-level delegation visiting the Philippines since the start of the pandemic, said Duterte, noting the visit shows that China attaches great importance to bilateral relations between the two countries.
The two sides agreed that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea serves the common interest of all countries.
The Philippine leader hoped relevant countries could resolve conflicts and differences through friendly negotiations, with respect for international law.
Wei hailed the traditional friendship between the two sides, stressing that it is the shared responsibility for the two sides to defend peace and stability in the South China Sea region.
The Chinese defense minister called for strengthening communication between the two countries. The Chinese military is willing to have closer cooperation with the Philippine side, he told Duterte.